- Full Name: Darren Lee Appleton
- Nickname: Dynamite
- D.O.B: 08/02/1976
- From: Pontefract, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Dynamite started out playing pool at an early age, taking up the sport seriously when he turned 16. He has always enjoyed sports from football to boxing and now golf, during his school years Darren was interested in boxing and football mainly and always imagined himself as playing football professionally, but as the years went on he realised that he didn’t have time for all three sports. After finishing a training session at a local boxing gym, Darren and his brother Shane headed across the road to a pub and ended up playing pool. After a while the landlord of the pub noticed that both a Darren and Shane could play and asked them to play for the pubs pool team the Forg n Firkin in the knottingley pool league, this was the start of Darren’s appetite for pool!
Darren’s cousin Andy, a top professional English 8 ball player at the time, introduced Darren and Shane to a pool hall in Wakefield West Yorkshire where Darren and Shane began to practise more and more, the young 16 year old Dynamite began playing for money and winning pocket money like this at age 16 of course had Darren hooked and pool quickly became his life. Cutting down on football matches and stopping his boxing training Darren focused his time on advancing his game, quickly entering his first junior tournament and taking the 1stplace prize.
Now at age 17 / 18 Darren continued to enter every tournament he could, winning everything from local tournaments and leagues to pro/am Tournaments. With this success, in 1996 at age 19 Darren decided to go professional, winning a professional tour and main event in his first year , obtaining the world ranked number one spot during the next 2 years. During his English pool years Darren also obtained something else, a nickname he still carries today, Dynamite!
Darren was referred to as Dynamite Darren Appleton due to his ferocious and explosive passion and playing style as well as a temper! Dynamite’ career took off in which he became the most recognised and successful English pool player in history winning over 30 major titles , 200 other tournaments and smashing records along the way, ranking world number 1 six years out of his career which spanned a decade and never dropped below rank number 2. Although Darren was the elite of the elite in the world of English pool, Darren also represented England in many tournaments and won televised tournaments on sky sports however the right to call himself a world champion slipped through his fingers, being the runner up on 2 occasions. This meant that for Darren there was always something missing, aside of his fantastic achievements he still wanted more.
In 2006 things changed in the world of pool, a massive 8 ball international tournament was launched the IPT tour. Based in America on American equipment (bigger tables, balls and a difference in cue) the IPT caught Darren’s attention boasting an extremely competitive field as well as crowds and prize money to match.
Dynamite and a few other English pool players joined this tournament, and quickly got addicted. Massive prize money (in some examples 200k to the winner) large crowds and cool arenas, they were living the dream!
Unfortunately the dream was short lived; when at the end of 2006 the IPT tour ran out of funding and was forced to shut down. This left Darren and the others wondering where to go now, play English pool again full time? Or stick it out. To Darren his choice was easy, he had a taste for the world stage, big crowds, 9 ball and the larger tournaments.
By 2008 Darren had turned his back on English pool and became a full time American pool player winning a Euro Tour 9ball competition, the coveted derby city classic straight pool event and towards the end of 2008 realising his dreams of world glory, becoming the World 10ball Champion at its inaugural event in the mecca of pool the Philippines beating the sensation Wu Cha Ching in the final. All the hard work had finally paid off, Dynamite Darren Appleton was a world Champion and the rewards of which soon followed.
Since then Darren has continued his ambush on the American pool scene, becoming the world pool masters champion, the first ever English player to win the US Open 9ball championship, leading Team England to win the World team championships in its inaugural event and of course in 2010 laying down a stunning performance at the 2010 Mosconi Cup, defeating all comers and winning the award of most valuable player!
Dynamite has achieved a great deal in his pool career but he still has much more to come, now he has tasted the glory of being the top player in the world, holding multiple championships and titles, Darren has never been more hungry.
Only time will tell what happens next…